Let’s be honest, dating can be harsh, ruthless, frustrating, tiring and ultimately disappointing—trying to find your match, date after date. I’d like to believe that it happens to everyone, especially the older you get. Looking back, it was a lot easier meeting people, let alone finding someone I ‘liked’ a few years ago.
Perhaps it was because of the lack of wanting to find a future husband – possibly because marriage wasn’t even really an option at that age. However, as the birthdays pass, it seems that the need to find someone I can imagine waking up to years from now becomes a real ‘want.’ The pickings are getting fewer.
I’ve come to realize this can be due to a few factors. I’m definitely becoming more focused on what I’m looking for, perhaps even a little picky. The men who fall into my age category are either married, divorced with children or gay.
Although there’s nothing wrong with dating a man with children, I personally haven’t found a candidate who makes everything that goes along with that worthwhile. So, the reality is, life can get lonely lone-wolfing it. As much as I may want to deny it, being the strong and independent woman I am, it’s okay to be needy in that department.
However, if you’re going to take part in the dating game, there are a few things you might want to put into practice in order to avoid becoming a slave to the endless cycle of feeling fine on your own but wanting someone by your side.
He'll give his heart to the first woman who does this...
1) Expect nothing, hope for the best
You probably hear it all the time, but it’s the number one rule to surviving date after date. There will be times when you want to give up because you feel stagnant. It’s normal. However, enter every date with the right mind-set, and you’ll never leave disappointed.
2) Listen more, speak less
The best way to get to know someone is by listening to what they’re saying—without filling that space trying to come up with a response. After all, you want to find out who the person is sitting across from you and figure out if their qualities match yours.
3) Know your core values
There are certain elements that fill your core—things that determine who you are as a person. Those few things need to match your potential partner in order to create harmony in the relationship. So, before you go on your dating quest, evaluate and establish those important values.
4) Be prepared to flex more
As much as your core is important, being able to flex is just as vital. After all, you don’t want someone exactly like you. You need someone who can bring out certain elements in you that complete and challenge you as a person.
5) Mix it up every once in a while
The easiest way to get bored of dating is by doing the same thing over and over again. Avoid going on a dinner date every time. Mix it up a bit and try adventure, physical activities or even a spontaneous breakfast every once in a while.
6) Leave expectations at the door
Don’t enter the dating game with the intent of finding ‘The One.’ You may find yourself feeling disappointed more often than not. Besides, you don’t want to spoil a perfectly good meal by letting disappointment control your mood. Instead, let whatever may be be.
7) Give the process some time
Don’t rush the process. It may take you longer than others, leaving you feeling frustrated and disappointed if it doesn’t happen as fast as you’d like. Instead, give the process some time and practice some patience.
8) Space out your candidates
Avoid squeezing all of your dates into one weekend—your mind won’t fully be on the date as you’ll be wondering what the next date will be like. This can leave you missing important qualities, which may be the exact things you’re searching for.
9) Respect yourself always
If he’s not for you, don’t go for it just for the sake of not wanting to spend time by yourself anymore. Respect yourself enough to wait for the one you’ll appreciate fully for the right reasons. When it happens, you’ll be grateful for not wasting your and someone else’s time.
10) Don’t put your life on hold
Life has to go on while you’re dating, otherwise you’ll spend so much time trying to find ‘The One’ that you’ll miss out on other important aspects of your life. Yes, you want to find someone to do things with, but you also need to find joy in spending time by yourself.
The truth is, you can either force a relationship or wait patiently for it to happen naturally. As someone who’s still out on the market, picking carefully and making a few mistakes as I go along, I realize that there’s nothing with me. Being single is okay. It doesn’t make me any less of a woman. The constant question of why I’m single holds no real value. I’m single because I’m just not in a relationship.
However, I also understand that the only way to change that is by putting myself out there, and continuing on my dating quest, hoping to find my match—as should you. None of us were made to live life alone, but it’s better to wait patiently for the one who makes those quiet moments worthwhile than have someone to fill the space, only to make it worse.
So, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Make each date a learning experience—not only to refine what you don’t want, but to broaden your emotional intelligence, getting to know people from different walks of life. You may discover new qualities you never even thought of wanting.